Running vs Walking for Weight Loss: Which is Better?

Lisa's picture

Many people that are looking to lose weight realize the importance of establishing a healthy exercise routine. For the most part, steady weight loss will not occur with just a change in your diet alone. For those that are not familiar with a good exercise routine though, choosing what exercises to do can be intimidating. Some of the easiest exercises to get into are running and walking, but when it comes to running vs walking for weight loss, which is better?

Most people are quick to assume that running will burn far more calories and result in more weight loss than just walking alone. This is both true and false at the same time. In order to determine which method of exercise is going to help you to lose more weight, you first need to evaluate your own personal abilities.

Even the most out of shape person that has not exercised in years can do some walking. Get them to try and run however, and they may keel over! A person that is out of shape and not in the best of health will be able to walk for a much longer period of time than they will be able to run, thus they will be able to burn more calories.

On the other hand, a person who thinks running will help them to burn more calories but can only run for five minutes before they must stop exercising completely, will not be able to burn nearly as many calories as the person that chose a brisk walk. The longer you are able to exercise, the more calories you will burn. So choosing the exercise option that will allow you to perform comfortably for a more extended period of time will increase the amount of weight you loose.

For the most part, the average runner and the average brisk walker are going to burn the same amount of calories. It is only when the runner begins to exceed their speed, between eight and ten miles per hour that there is any drastic difference in the calories burned that will result in weight loss when compared to walking. The length of time you are able to keep these speeds does play a major factor though. If you can only run at eight miles per hour for five minutes, but can walk at four miles per hour for thirty, walking is the far better choice.

Walking and running can both be very beneficial to helping you lose weight. The key to your success is determining which of these activities you will be able to do easily for a longer period of time to get the most weight loss out of your exercise routine.

Evie Tracy's picture

Walking or running

The advantage of running is you can cover twice as much ground in the same amount of time as you would walking.

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